Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Election Agenda Bychoice

Election Agenda For Estate Agents

Estate agents BYchoice evaluate what would secure their vote in next month's election...
The National Association of Estate Agents surveyed its members to find out what would be their vote winners in terms of the housing market. Stamp duty threshold, first-time buyers and licensing of estate agents were the top three issues.
Despite the Chancellor's increase to the stamp duty threshold in the last Budget, 78 per cent of estate agents said they still believed that further rises are necessary to improve the housing market.
Less than one in five agents thought that the present government has helped the property industry in recent years, and 45 per cent believe that it has actually hindered it.
Licensed To Sell Almost two thirds of estate agents felt that licensing their profession is a priority, something which the NAEA has been campaigning for. All members must currently abide by a strict code of practice and rules of conduct or face expulsion from the Association, but there are limited powers to stop rogue agents from practising, and the NAEA would like to see an effective regulatory scheme put into place.
Scrap The Packs Another key issue for agents was that of Home Information Packs (due to become compulsory in 2007 for people selling their house) with almost half wanting to see them scrapped. A further 15 per cent of agents felt that a voluntary scheme would be more effective. At the recent NAEA National Congress, both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged to abandon HIPs should they come to power.
Chief Executive of the NAEA, Peter Bolton King, commented: "These results reflect the feelings of some 10,000 estate agents across the country.
"The political parties should not ignore the strength of feeling on some of these aspects, and the extent of change they could bring about to the thousands of people buying or selling a home each year.
"Whatever the outcome of the election, the NAEA will continue to lobby the Government on licensing, HIPs, stamp duty and the other issues which have the potential to seriously affect the housing market and the British public."
Results of the NAEA Poll:
What could a future Government do to benefit the UK housing market, buyers & sellers?
Increase stamp duty thresholds - 78.9%
More schemes to help first-time buyers - 81.8%
License estate agents - 60.2%
Scrap HIPs - 48.2%
More affordable housing - 32.3%
Control inflation - 27.9%
Increase supply of new homes through planning reforms - 20.3%
Introduce incentives for regeneration schemes - 18.7%
Make HIPs voluntary - 15.1%
Introduce REITs - 10.4%
Other - 10.4%
Limit second home ownership - 4.0%

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